Food Psych #148: Disability and Diet Culture with Rebekah Taussig


Disability-rights advocate and writer Rebekah Taussig joins us to talk about why body positivity needs to be a radical and intersectional movement, the connection between body acceptance and disability rights, the many ways in which diet culture has infiltrated disability culture and affects people in disabled bodies, embracing all the emotions that surface when doing anti-oppression work, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about quick ways to respond when a friend says something diet-y or body-shaming.  

Rebekah Taussig is a Kansas City writer and teacher with her PhD in Creative Nonfiction and Disability Studies. She is interested in the powerful connection between the stories we tell and the world we live in, from physical spaces and economic opportunities to social roles and interpersonal relationships. Her writing contributes to the collective narratives being told about disability in our culture -- empowering, mundane, wild, heart-breaking, exhilarating, ordinary stories of her life lived through a paralyzed body. Find her online at

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

We Discuss:

  • Rebekah’s relationship with food growing up, including internalizing body and size preferences

  • How Rebekah’s disability influenced her relationship with her body

  • The various ways we cope with body shame

  • Rebekah’s experience with marrying young, and the ways in which our culture perpetuates the false narrative that romantic love will complete us

  • The physical repercussions of emotional pain

  • Rejecting self-objectification and embracing the fact that we are more than our bodies

  • The role of therapy and disability studies in Rebekah’s journey through embodied healing

  • The connection between body acceptance, body positivity, body liberation, and disability rights

  • The power in being a part of bigger movements like #MeToo, eating disorder recovery, and disability advocacy

  • Rebekah’s PhD work in disability studies and creative non-fiction

  • How our ideas about what does and doesn’t qualify as a “normal body” and the “ideal body” are constructed

  • Rebekah’s journey to embracing her voice as a writer in the disability community, including the positive impact of internet communities

  • Rebekah’s exploration of self-photography, and how it changed the way she experienced her body image

  • How Rebekah made the bridge between body positivity and disability rights, specifically around how both movements work to dismantle the narratives we’ve been told about our bodies

  • Why body positivity needs to be a radical and intersectional movement

  • How transformative joyful eating can be in our relationship with our bodies

  • Why diet culture is The Life Thief

  • Diet culture’s infiltration of the disabled experience, including how some people push diets on disabled folks in order to “cure” their bodies

  • The assumptions placed on disabled bodies, and Health at Every Size implications for disabled folks

  • How thin privilege can validate certain voices over others in the fat-liberation space

  • Embracing all the emotions that surface when doing anti-oppression work

  • Rebekah’s experience teaching young adults disability rights


Resources Mentioned

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Listener Question of the Week

How do we spread the Health at Every Size, anti-diet message to people we don’t know so well? Are there some quick phrases we can use to retort the diet mentality that comes up in everyday life?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych Episode #127 and #31.5)

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